Alex Lifeson Ruined His Guitar Indirectly Because of Jimmy Page
via OfficialEpiphone / Youtube
Jimmy Page didn’t physically damage Alex Lifeson‘s guitar like swinging it into a wall. Instead, Page’s guitar playing served as an inspiration for Lifeson. This influence was similar to how one of Page’s guitar solos greatly impacted Eddie Van Halen’s musical style.
Let’s go back to the music scene in early 1969. The Beatles were dominating as the biggest band worldwide, and other iconic acts like The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and The Who were making waves with their recent releases. It was during this time that Led Zeppelin emerged.
Early in their careers, the quintet developed popularity with its supporters thanks to their live performances. Before Led Zeppelin hit stores in early January 1969, a well-attended concert in San Francisco gave lead vocalist Robert Plant confidence that the group may have some appeal to audiences. After a memorable show in Boston, manager Peter Grant sobbed. The young guitarist Alex Lifeson also looked for a copy of Led Zeppelin’s debut album in Canada.
According to Lifeson in an interview with Sirius XM (via Far Out):
“I immediately went over [to the record store] to get it, and we sat down and listened to it a million times over.”
Unfortunately, when Lifeson tried to replicate this technique, he ended up damaging his guitar strings because of the residue left by the bow. Lifeson had to pick one of the three instances in which the lead guitarist for Zeppelin used a bow to make his guitar hum out of all the memorable Page guitar solos to imitate. The tracks “In the Light” and “Dazed and Confused” are the other two.
It’s possible that a bow lacking rosin won’t make any sound at all when scraped across the strings. According to a YouTube video, one with too much rosin might produce an excessively scratchy sound. It left a heavy residue in Lifeson’s case, which damaged his guitar strings.
Despite Page’s significant influence on him, Lifeson also admired other guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Steve Morse from Deep Purple. However, like many talented guitarists, Lifeson managed to blend these influences into his own unique style, which eventually paid off.
Rush was later inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, nearly two decades after Led Zeppelin received the same honor. While Rush might not have achieved the same level of commercial success as Zeppelin, they left a lasting impact on the music world with their intricate prog-rock masterpieces, just as Lifeson’s idol, Page, did with his band.